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INTRODUCTION TO BEARINGS

  • Bearings support moving parts, such as shafts and spindles, of a machine or mechanism.

  • Bearings may be classed as

  • (i) Rolling contact (Ball and roller) bearings.

  • (ii) Plain bearings.

  • Rolling contact bearings are almost invariably made of steel that can be hardened after machining.

  • Both plain carbon and alloy (Ni, Cr, Mo) steels are employed for different applications.

PROPERTIES OF BEARING MATERIALS

  • A bearing material should:

  • Possess low coefficient of friction.

  • Provide hard, wear resistant surface with a tough core.

  • Have high compressive strength.

  • Have high fatigue strength.

  • Be able to bear shocks and vibrations.

  • Possess high thermal conductivity to dissipate heat generated due to friction between the bearing and the rotating shaft.

Possess adequate plasticity under bearing load. Possess adequate strength at high temperatures. Be such that it can be easily fabricated. Possess resistance to corrosion.

Be such that it does not cause excessive wear of the shaft rotating in it, i.e., bearing material should be

softer than the shaft material.

Be having small pieces of a comparatively hard metal embeded in a soft metal.

Maintain a continuous film of oil between shaft and bearing.

TYPES OF BEARING MATERIALS

  • Lead or tin based alloys (Babbitt metals)

  • Cadmium-based alloys

  • Aluminium based alloys

  • Copper based alloys

  • Silver-based alloys

  • Non-metallic bearing meterials

Lead or Tin Based Alloys (Babbitt Metals)

  • The high tin alloys with more than 80% tin and little or no lead.

  • The high lead alloys with about 80% lead and 112% tin.

  • The alloys with intermediate percentages of tin and lead.

Typical compositions of A lead based alloy A tin based alloy

  • Pb 75%

  • Sb 15%

  • Sn 10%

Sn 88% Sb 8% Cu 4%

  • Lead base

alloys are softer and brittle than the tin

base alloys.

  • Lead base alloys are cheaper than tin base alloys.

  • Tin base alloys have a low coefficient of friction as compared to lead base alloys.

  • Lead base alloys are suitable for light and medium loads, whereas tin base alloys are preferred for higher loads and speeds.

  • Whereas tin base alloys find applications in high speed engines, steam turbines, lead base alloys are used in rail road freight cars.

  • Solidus temperature of Tin base alloys

Approx.

222°C

  • Solidus temperature of Lead base alloys

Approx.

240°C

Besides, both these alloys possess

  • Good ability to embed dirt

  • Good conformability to journal

  • Good corrosion resistance

  • Very good seizure resistance, etc.

Cadmium-based alloys

  • Chemical composition

cd

97%

Ni

2%

Ag, Cu and zn are added in small percentage. These bearing alloys have a structure consisting of a soft matrix containing harder crystals of intermetallic compounds. These alloys aren't very popular because

of high price of cadmium. These bearing alloy possess

greater compressive strength than tin bearing alloys.

Cadmium-based alloys possess

 
  • (a) low coefficient of friction,

  • (b) high fatigue strength,

 
  • (c) high load carrying capacity,

 
  • (d) low wear, good seizure resistance,

  • (e) fair ability to embed dirt, and

  • (f) poor

corrosion

resistance

(using

ordinary

lubricants).

Cadmium-based alloys were tried in automobile and

aircraft industries and good results were obtained.

Aluminium based alloys

  • Chemical composition

Al

91.5%

Sn

6%

Cu

1%

Ni

1%

Small amount of silicon is used along with these.

The microstructure consist of NiAl and CuAl 2 in the matrix of aluminium solid solution.

These alloys possess

  • (a) excellent corrosion resistance

  • (b) fair conformability to journal

  • (c) good ability to embed dirt

  • (d) good seizure resistance

  • (e) good thermal conductivity

  • (J) high coefficient of expansion

  • These alloys find applications as bearings in diesel engines and tractors.

Copper based alloys

  • Chemical composition

Cu

80-85%

Sn

10-15%

Pb

10%

  • The term bronze covers a large number of copper alloys with varying percentages of Sn, Zn and Pb.

  • Bronze is one of the oldest known bearing materials.

  • Bronze,

  • (a) is easily worked

  • (b) has good corrosion resistance

  • (c) is reasonably hard

  • Tin bronze (10 to 14% tin, remainder copper) is used in the machine and engine industry for bearing bushes made from thin- walled drawn tubes.

  • Copper-based alloys are employed for making bearings required to resist heavier pressures such as in railways.

Silver-based alloys

Silver

bearings

are

produced

by

electro

deposition of a 0.3 to 0.5 mm layer of silver on a steel support shell ,with an intermediate layer of Cu and Ni. A 0.02-0.03mm of lead is then deposited on top of the

silver and the indium diffuse into the lead by heat

treatment at 180 o c. This covering layer aid in improving the running in properties and the corrosion resistance of the silver layer.

  • These are highest prized alloys

  • They are employed where other materials don’t produce satisfactory results

  • These alloys are used on the connecting rod bearings of aircraft engines

Non-metallic bearing materials

(a)Teflon (poly tetra flouro ethylene)

It has co-efficient of friction <0.004 with out

lubrication. It has good stability at high temperature. It

is chemically inert to water and many chemicals and solvents, fillers like glass and graphite increases the

resistance to deformation.

(b)Nylon

Nylon bearings have co-efficient of friction 0.15-

0.33 for dry friction, 0.14-0.18 with water lubrication.

0.09-0.14 for oil lubrication with load of 5-25Nand a relative velocity of 2.5-110m/min